The acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica defended the firm today after a week of "distressing" media reports that it improperly obtained Facebook data from 50 million Americans.
"As anyone who is familiar with our staff and work can testify, we in no way resemble the politically motivated and unethical company that some have sought to portray," Alexander Tayler said. "Our staff are a talented, diverse and vibrant group of people."
Cambridge Analytica suspended CEO Alexander Nix earlier this week.
Tayler served as the company's chief data officer in 2015 when Facebook first raised concerns that Cambridge had gained access to the user data via British academic Aleksandr Kogan, in violation of the social network's terms of service.
"We immediately deleted the raw data from our file server, and began the process of searching for and removing any of its derivatives in our system," Tayler said, adding that Cambridge conducted an audit in 2017 at Facebook's request to certify the data has been removed.
Tayler said none of the Facebook data was used in the company's work for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
The acting CEO also downplayed the role of Christopher Wylie, a key source for recent reports in The New York Times and The Observer on Cambridge Analytica who plans to speak with British and American lawmakers. Tayler described Wylie as a part-time contract worker who has not been involved with the firm since July 2014.